Arsenal have received a surprise boost after Mikel Arteta revealed Thomas Partey has a chance of featuring against Tottenham at the weekend.
Partey suffered a thigh injury during the early stages of Arsenal’s defeat to Aston Villa last month and it was initially hoped he’d return after the subsequent international break.
The 27-year-old’s injury proved more serious than first thought and a team news update on Arsenal.com yesterday suggested the midfielder wasn’t close to returning to action as it didn’t even mention a possible date for him to resume training.
However, Arteta has now provided a detailed update on Partey and revealed the Ghanaian international has n fact been doing individual training for the last week and is chomping at the bit to return to the field.
Arteta says Partey will have a scan to see if the injury has healed and suggested the midfielder still has a chance of being passed fit to face Tottenham on Sunday if he’s able to get ‘a session or two’ under his belt over the coming days.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna, Arteta is quoted by the Evening Standard as saying:
“He has been training separately in the last week or so. We have to scan him again to see how he is feeling. He is a player that is so willing, that is pushing us every day because he wants to do it.
“At the same time, we have to protect and make sure that when he gets back in the team he is ready to do that and whatever extent of minutes we can use him.
“So this week is going to be crucial. The moment he starts to train in parts with the team, [we can] see how he is feeling and how he is evolving day to day.”
“We don’t know [if he’ll be fit to face Tottenham]. Again he is really pushing. Every day he is trying to get around the doctor and the physios. He hasn’t trained with the team yet.
“So this week, let’s see if he can get a session or two. We need to scan him again to see the extent of the injury and how it has healed. I know if it is Thomas, he wants to play tomorrow. Then we have to see medically that he is safe to participate this week at all.”
It would be a HUGE boost if Partey was able to play on Sunday as he’s been a big miss in the middle of the park but it’s important Arsenal don’t rush him back too soon so hopefully the medical team don’t take any chances.
Obviously Partey won’t be risked against Vienna tomorrow night and he’ll remain on the sidelines along with Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian is hoping to feature for the U23s before the end of the month so hopefully he’ll be available again in the New Year.
Pablo Mari came through 45 minutes for the U23s last week so he’s getting closer to the first team while Arsenal confirmed on Arsenal.com that Sead Kolasinac is available again after returning a negative covid test.
David Luiz won’t be risked against Vienna after his nasty head clash during the Wolves game and Arteta is set to rest a number of his key first team players ahead of the Spurs game.